16 year relationship.... Feeling unsure
Hubby & I have been together since 2004, married in 2009. Things progressed pretty quickly after our first date, faster than I would have liked (he showed up at my door one night with a suitcase, like after a month or so of dating). His story is that I said I didn't want him to leave, I don't remember ever saying that. Our relationship has been good and bad, he is a Jekyll/Hyde type personality and I am very even keel. He goes from depressed to laughing to mad in an hours span. It takes a lot to get me mad or depressed, I am a generally happy person.
Fast forward to 2009 after dating 5 years and things going mostly good, we get married and buy a house. Life is a party, we both have great jobs, and enjoy entertaining. He's a musician and I'm an artist, in our personal life. In 2015, he loses his job due to marijuana use. He had a business in his early life, so I convince him do his own thing again, I'll work & support the household until it takes off. It works! Within a few years, I am able to quit my job and become his partner in the business. In our own right, I feel like we are successful. We don't answer to "the man", don't ever work 40 hours a week and our bills are taken care of. He doesn't think of this as success by any means. His friends are all buying multiple motorcycles (he has one and I guess one is not enough) and so he compares himself constantly.
After awhile in the business, I started going on installs with him so our profit margin will be higher than if we hire a sub. I didn't intend for it to stay like this, only occasionally. He came to rely on me to go every time since I'm great at organization, photos & sign offs. After a year or so, he started really berating me on jobs. I mean, to the point that I have walked off jobs and wanted to end the marriage. I thought I was there to better our situation and have only had our best interests at heart. He on the other hand has taken any suggestions I have on job sites as "I've been doing this all my life, you don't know sh*%". To be fair, I have saved our butts on a few installs that he had misunderstood the scope of, so these outbursts really hurt.
Fast forward again to the present: I just feel like I have lost myself and who we once were. I find myself daydreaming about someone in my past and thinking of reaching out. This is not something I want to do, but right now, we have no passion towards each other (sleep in separate bedrooms for past 6 months) and cannot even carry on a simple conversation without one or both of us getting defensive. We are spiritual people and I pray daily about the situation. Just today I applied for a job because I feel like this is not going to be a long term thing anymore.
I know everyone will probably say "oh gosh, how can you work together and expect to stay married, I could never work with my spouse". And I get that. I thought we were special in this respect because we both had a common goal. I guess I just need some advice from someone that is not a friend or family member.
Yes, people often say that living and working in each other's pocket is a challenge but it's a special relationship that thrives in those circumstances. It's all about respect and consideration, valuing each other's input/opinion and sharing and balancing 'the burden' of operating a business in each other's shadow. Sound familiar?
Going by your post, it's obvious your husband thinks the business is selfishly 'his' and he's lost sight of your relationship together and of how your contribution and support has been vital at times. It's a waste of time trying to save sub's dollars at the expense of your marriage, regardless of your skills, and it's a double kick in the teeth when you have the business's best interests at heart.
The effort and energy that you guys both put into the business now needs to be applied to your marriage but it'll need to be your next shared common goal for it to succeed. Communication is what you need to use and if you need to step away from it, just for a tic, to clear your head and plan your approach, (counselling etc?) then so be it.
Where's there's a will, there's a way.
:$ (A) Thank you so much! I was worried after I posted this that it was just a site that reposts people problems to Twitter. I appreciate your encouraging words.
Thank you for the advice. You're right, it will be harder on me and I'll have to hear how we aren't making as much because now we're paying a sub. But that's better than ruining our marriage for sure! :)
I think you need to reconnect as a couple. Try thinking about the times in your marriage when you were happy and in love, what was it that you found attractive and how were you being perceived by him?
He has used you for "his" business, no wonder you feel hurt and emotionally neglected. Separate from the business side of things asap.
Finding a new job is a great idea, it will get your mojo back and give him chance to miss you.
Yet you need closeness too so make some plans and take some time with each other to be loving and re-find each other.
Before giving up on this marriage you owe it to each other to give it a try. If it doesn't work out then at least you have no regrets about the effort you have put into making things right again. You love him and he loves you, start there and work forwards.